Same River Twice 2013
Chemould Prescott Road, Mumbai.
A closed room occupied by engraved re-workings of Bhupen Khakhar’s tender drawings as casted shadows juxtaposed onto water colour landscapes revisiting his work through a lens of death and desire. Bhupen’s erotic homosexual images, autobiographical in nature, mocked the ideologically ingrained homophobia challenging the taboos of contemporary Indian society.
Each displayed artwork appeared like drawings of abstractions in white space, landscapes and other isolated objects. It was only with a play of programmed lights that the engravings on the plexiglas casted shadow on white paper to complete the composition, though only for a moment claiming conceptual non-existing bodies into momentary existence.
The re-working/ manipulation of his works was a commentary by me, a straight female artist and a compatriot of Bhupen Khakhar, who was one of the first self-proclaimed homosexuals in Indian, on the present situation of homosexuality in Indian society. Almost a decade after Bhupen’s death, sadly, it still remains a game of ‘hide-and-seek’.